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“Yellowstone”'s Luke Grimes Was 'Terrified' to Give Music a Try — Here's What Pushed Him to Do It (Exclusive)

"I was never a cowboy," Grimes tells PEOPLE of the role 'Yellowstone' played in the making of his debut album, which he released Friday

<p>Manuel Mancilla</p> Luke Grimes

Manuel Mancilla

Luke Grimes

Luke Grimes, the actor who plays John Dutton's favorite son Kayce in the beloved TV show Yellowstone, is tapping into his inner cowboy once again — but this time for his debut album.

On Friday, the singer-and-actor released his self-titled record. Speaking to PEOPLE about the project, Grimes, 40, revealed what pushed him to release an album after years of songwriting and how Yellowstone influenced its creation.

"Songwriting was sort of a hobby and something I would do in my off time," Grimes tells PEOPLE exclusively. "It just became something I would do for me. I didn't see any of this coming."

Grimes — who cut his teeth as a drummer in his church's band growing up — says he got a call from his manager one day who said he'd heard he was writing music.

"He said, 'Is that something you'd really want to try?' We talked for a couple years before I actually decided to do it and went ahead with my meeting and the labels and all that," he says. "I had so many reservations about, 'Is this going to be weird? Do I need to do this? Is this something that will I look back and be upset with myself if I didn't do it?' And I did feel like I would."

<p> Wyoming Out Loud (Jake Hoffman)</p> Luke Grimes

Wyoming Out Loud (Jake Hoffman)

Luke Grimes

Related: Luke Grimes on His 'Yellowstone' Character's Fate Ahead of Series Finale: I 'Take It as It Comes' (Exclusive)

Adding, "It was just thinking about, 'Will I be really mad at myself in the future if I don't take this opportunity?' The answer was yes. I knew I would've regretted not at least giving it a shot, so that really kind of pushed it over the edge."

That decision didn't come easy — but Grimes decided to face his fears and he's "proud" he was able to get it done.

"I was terrified to do it. If you would've asked me three or four years ago, 'Do you think you'll have an album coming out in the near future?' I would've said absolutely not. It sounds terrifying," he says.

The 13-track album follows Grimes' EP Pain Pills or Pews and serves as an introduction to who he really is. In the album, Grimes touches on personal subjects like meeting his wife, Brazilian model Bianca Rodrigues Grimes, and the death of his father.

"This is an introduction to who I am and what's on my mind. I've been playing characters for a long time and been acting for 20 years, and that whole process is completely the opposite, where you're trying to get someone to believe that you're something or someone else," he says.

"I feel like with this first album, the whole point was if I'm going to come in and do this music thing and try to do it right, then I'm going to have to start at the ground floor and tell you who I really am and where I really come from and not try to play a character at all," he continues.

Grimes, who believes that good music is rooted in honesty, wanted to challenge himself to create something fans could relate to.

"They say country music is three chords and the truth. I think country music, at its best, is just telling the truth and sort of indulging in the truth almost... but to the point where other people can connect to it," he says. "That's sort of the point. A bunch of people can hear the same country song and know that they've all gone through the same thing. That makes you feel closer to everyone else."

The parallels between country music and Yellowstone isn't a coincidence, however, as Grimes says his acting roles have played a role in his songwriting.

"Through these characters, I get to explore parts of life that I wouldn't before. Clearly in Yellowstone, exploring this western lifestyle that I had never lived before. I was never a cowboy. I'd never ridden horses. I'd never lived in the West. Now I live in Montana," he says. "I mean, it really does inform a lot of things about who I am, which then informs the music. So I think they're related in a pretty strong way."

<p>Manuel Mancilla</p> Luke Grimes

Manuel Mancilla

Luke Grimes

Related: 'Yellowstone' Actor Luke Grimes Releases Debut Single 'No Horse to Ride': 'Beyond a Dream Come True'

On the future of Yellowstone, which is expected to conclude with part two of season 5, Grimes says he "doesn't know" how he'll react when it's "actually said and done" but it's been "a huge part of my life."

"For seven years, we've been doing this, and we started in 2017. That's crazy. This cast and crew, they're like a second family, we spend a lot of time together," Grimes says of the final season, which does not have a release date yet. "It's been one of the most intense experiences of my life. Also, one of the most rewarding. It's changed my life in every way possible."

He adds, "Nothing will ever be the same because of this show in all sorts of ways, good and bad. I will miss it terribly. I know that. I mean, I think I'm ready to know how it ends. I'm ready to tell the end of the story."

Grimes moved to Montana to film the show. Once the show is over, he plans to stay.

"My wife and I love it out there. I think it'd be a great place to raise a family. I never know what the future holds," he says. "Who knows where the next thing will be and how long I'll have to be there. I'm always open to anything, but for the foreseeable future, I'll be there. I really have fallen in love with it."

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Read the original article on People.